And Now There’s Toby

DSC_7679Ever since we lost our beloved Beppo at the beginning of September, we’ve been grief-stricken, and Zazou has been so lonely. Yesterday we brought Toby home, all huge ears, giant paws, super-long tail, all two pounds of him. He’ll never be a great beauty, and he wasn’t even the cutest kitten at the shelter, but he insisted on being ours.

DSC_7654-001Shel and I sat in the little room where you can take the kittens out of their cages, and let Toby convince us to take him home. Tiny as he is, he’d jump on my lap, look me in the eye, say one little meow to me, then hop down, run over to Shel, and repeat the performance. He did this dozens of times, until we absolutely couldn’t say no, even though I’d imagined a prettier cat, even a tabby like Beppo was. But no, Toby was obviously meant to be ours, and he spent the night sleeping on my arm or under my chin, depending on how I was lying; every time I turned over he jumped over to the other side of my pillow so that he could be right by my face. That’s the kind of cat we need to help heal our deep sorrow.

DSC_7641This is about as close as Zazou will let him get, so far, and she’s said some pretty rude things to him, but she follows him around and watches him intently, and even slept on the bed with us for part of the night, so I think it’s going to be alright in a week or so.

les palmiers 707-1There’s no replacing Beppo, of course. We learned this week that he had been hit by a car, now he’s buried in our garden. The same garden where I once whispered in his ear “this is your garden, Beppo, you’re safe here and no coyotes can get you.” But of course, no one’s safe anywhere. There’s the scorpion under the chair, the careless car outside the gate, Monday we’ll get the results of Shel’s latest scans, all you can do is do your best to keep on breathing, keep on loving. And now there’s Toby.

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15 Comments on “And Now There’s Toby”


  1. Ahh, brought some tears to me. Thanks, Abra. Toby seems very special.

  2. melinda Says:

    so glad Toby found you….there’s something about buff colored kitties….i have one just like Toby, who just came and hopped into my lap one day when i was in the rocker on the porch…he (Dijon) is still here several yrs later….I guess its good to have some closure on Beppo….did a neighbor tell you what happened? so sorry to hear that tho….

  3. Catanea Says:

    Oh. Weeping now.
    Wishing you the best.

  4. Marigene Says:

    As bad as it is, I am so glad that you found out what happened to Beppo so you can have closure. Toby really is a handsome little guy and obviously meant for you.
    Praying for a good scan for Shel.

  5. Abra Bennett Says:

    A contractor was working on our house while we were in France, and he found Beppo under the stairs outside. He was kind enough to bury him in the garden for us.

  6. Janet Says:

    I’m sorry about your loss, but at least you have some closure. Toby looks like he’ll be a handful, cute, but a handful. Someone once told me that cats choose their owners, not the other way around. When we went to the shelter a couple years ago to get a cat, we had in mind to get a male tabby, but ended up with a female calico (Penny). She was the very best salesperson.

  7. jeanne Says:

    I, too, am so sorry to hear about what happened to Beppo. I was holding out hope he’d be home when you got back, but not in this way. Also sending prayers for good news on Monday.

  8. Smithy Says:

    “Closure” seems an inadequate word, but I can’t think of a better word for that strange, sad feeling. There is comfort in knowing that a loved one is lost, and how, compared to wondering why they are missing and suspecting – without knowing – that something bad has happened.

    I don’t know whether I can extend that “it’s better to know than to fear” logic to Shel’s scans. I hope you get good news there.

    As for Toby: he sounds like the perfect segue, and I think he’s lovely. I have a particularly soft spot for caramel-and-vanilla kitties, and this one has made it clear that you are his. I’m glad Zazou is beginning to accept him after only a week.


  9. Nice post. We’ve had and lost so many cats over the years that we can’t bear to go through it again.

  10. Alain LAURENT Says:

    C’est vraiment super, je pense que vous êtes tous deux très heureux de ce nouveau pensionnaire…
    Avec nos plus chaleureuses amitiés

  11. Sharyn Says:

    After we lost Silas on the road here I got my husband to let me fence in our entire yard in deer fencing for the cats. It is black nylon, attached to either steel posts of trees, and blends in to the tree background. Since it is flexible the cats can’t climb it and I staked it down every 8 inches. Every morning we check it for break ins from bears or raccoons and I check the bottom for holes chewed in it from squirrels. It gives me immense peace of mind that my cats who love the outdoors are in a safe yard.
    Also, I think it gives the cats peace of mind since they know how much area they have to control. My yard is huge, probably an acre but the cats can walk over to visit my in laws house on our property inside the fence. My male cat ,Harper, loves to walk over and spend the day with my 85 year old FIL, and then whenever he wants to he leaves and walks home. I let them out from morning until dinner time and they are pretty much trained to come in when I call. And if they don’t come I can find them. I really recommend this.
    I have a cat door installed and it is opened by us after border patrol. I love hearing it go wap wap wap as the cats come running in or out. And they are really happy cats since they have the power to choose if they want to be in or out.

  12. Sharyn Says:

    and.. even though it is impossibly painful to love a beloved feline, there are so many that need homes you are wonderful for taking one in. My mom just lost her 21 year old companion and I am hoping she will adopt another senior cat soon.

  13. Sharyn Says:

    oops, I meant lose of course, spelling corrected to love. well, we love them too!

  14. Ginger Says:

    … so glad Toby waited patiently until you came home – he knew you were coming to be chosen by him.

  15. Cape Coop Says:

    My heart is full reading this post. May every love be worth the pain..


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